I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Let them be little.
Quite often I listen to online radio while I am writing. I enjoy the music and find that it motivates me. The other day an old country song came on that caused me to stop what I was doing and listen. I had heard this song many times and for some reason it “hit” me pretty hard that day. The song “Let them be little” by Billy Dean starts off with the lines “I can remember when you fit in the palm of my hand; felt so good in it, no bigger than a minute.” Staring at a picture of my own two children who at 19 and 13 are both taller than me, I thought back to the days when I cradled them in my arms and how they would fall asleep on my chest. In a matter of what seemed like minutes they were wiggling out of my arms running off to play and then the school bus came and off they went turning into big kids. Now today, both of my kids are living their lives much differently than I lived mine and I am learning to understand that that is the way it is supposed to be. With my daughter in her second year of college, and my son in high school I find myself looking back and wondering why I did the things I did and what could I have done better. Naturally, hindsight is clearer than when we are in the moment. Knowing that I have not been the perfect parent, and have been reminded of that many times over, I can only hope that the parent I was to them when they were little is somewhat good enough to carry them through this critical time of their lives and into their future.
Why does society insist on pushing our children to grow up? Kids today own every electronic gadget known to man, including cell phones; which often boggles my mind. They do not go outside to play with their friends anymore, rather they communicate via text or online through social media. And what’s up with kid’s clothes? It seems that little girls clothes are looking more like teenagers clothes and teenagers clothes are quite challenging if you ask me. Striving to look like the latest celebrity heart throb or super model teenagers are selling themselves short; but who’s doing the buying? All too often I hear parents complain about the way their children dress but when asked why they allowed their kids to wear said clothes, they say “well, you know kids, you can’t tell them what to do.” Ummm, yes you can; in fact, it is our job to tell them what to do. Allowing our children to express their wishes in regard to their attire and other aspects of their lives is important, but parents need to enforce a certain amount of restrictions on what is considered age appropriate.
While cleaning up the aftermath of my daughter’s recent departure for college, I came across a stack of photographs. These photographs were taken when she was between 2 and 4 years old. Two of her favorite things to do when she was little were blow bubbles and swing. She would beg to go outside no matter the weather to swing on her swing or sit on the deck and blow bubbles. When her brother came along, she would blow bubbles for him. Life was simple and back then. She was a little girl doing little girl things and that was all that mattered. Trying to find a balance between being little children and growing up is often a difficult task, but if done thoughtfully, it can be done. Recently, my son asked if he could go to his high school’s first football game. He wanted to see the game and hang out with friends; without us. As difficult as it was to let him go alone; we did and he had a great time. It’s time for him to do bigger kid things. He’s ready.
Having been through the little kid stage I am now facing the big kid/adult stage and it scares me a bit. I am losing control of those decision making days and having to stand back and watch them make their own decisions. I am learning to hold my breath, bite my tongue or simply turn my head and allow them to journey into the next phase of their lives trusting that they can do it. And if they make a mistake, they will have to fix it; that is unless they call me and then I will be glad to help. For me, I still struggle with not having my little kids around. I miss their cuddles, their little kid messes, the silly grins, scraped knees and even the runny noses. I miss them being little, but oh boy am I enjoying the big kids they are becoming. I think this is what the Lion King called the circle of life. In the wise words of Billy Dean, “Let them be little, because their only that way for a while, give them hope give them praise give them love every day, let them smile let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle, but oh let them be little.”
Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.